What on the water experience still gives you PTSD?

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What on the water experience still gives you PTSD?

Was chatting today with a long distance foiling buddy and we began to talk about crashes, etc that left us with a bit of PTSD* that leave us spooked. Over the years, I've had some interesting episodes out on the water and most just end up being good stories to share. But I must admit I've had a couple of crashes, hit bottom, etc that stick with me. I think that some of those keep me from really sending it deep on a foil for example. Not that I haven't fallen a bunch and continue to do so but the really hard hits (or maybe it's the board repair) kind of bubble up as I bear off while fully lit.

Any that you've had foiling, windsurfing, winging or kiting that wrap around you while you're on the water and hold you back a bit?

* Not to minimize the impact some people suffer from truly traumatic events in their life.

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Re: What on the water experience still gives you PTSD?
  • Being caught in the rear strap and somehow getting goofy and falling into the sail: sprained my foot
  • Stepping off in shallow water in shorebreak when I thought it was deeper and then spraining my ankle

Thankfully my biggest air where I got boosted without trying and not knowing how to jump really, but could count while floating in the air, didn't result in anything but a thrill.

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Re: What on the water experience still gives you PTSD?

From my early days, when I had catapulted hooked in. I was in the water under the sail, couldn’t unhook for a while. After I finally managed that, I had to get out from under the sail. It was a 7.5 m, but it felt like 75 m.

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Re: What on the water experience still gives you PTSD?
ediksail wrote:

From my early days, when I had catapulted hooked in. I was in the water under the sail, couldn’t unhook for a while. After I finally managed that, I had to get out from under the sail. It was a 7.5 m, but it felt like 75 m.

^ What Ed said.
I even taped the gap in my hook to keep harness buckles from getting caught up in it. I don’t think about it as much foiling since I tend to fall differently.

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Re: What on the water experience still gives you PTSD?

I crashed a LOT whilst learning to foil. Little wing, short fuselage, too small of a board, tiny brain and nobody to coach me… even Chris R, the F4 guy, was scant help- me: “So how do you do it??” Chris R: “Oh, you’re gonna get wet a lot”. Cray 2 Eventually I got a big old Formula board that helped lot but I still managed to break the nose on it multiple times in some spectacular crashes.

Add to that the performance anxiety you get with a bunch of guys watching and expecting you to, you know, PERFORM. It was a lot pressure! Shok

After all y’all got it wired and cracked the code on proper gear, things got easier. But with visions of ‘foiling out’ dancing in my head, I am still timid about letting it rip.

photos by Barrett

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Re: What on the water experience still gives you PTSD?

I had my share of the above: caught under sail, foot bent back, ...

I don't have any PTSD, I love these activities, but I also am a safety-first guy.

Adding a few to the list:
- surfing and swimming in surf breaks has resulted in some nerve wracking situations
- being off van Pugh in the winter in bigger wind and the rig starts to float away quickly in the wind - that will wake you up
- I've come in quickly when I saw a squall line coming from land while kiting - I got in just in time - that was scary.
- I also have a healthy respect for lightening having been caught once out jogging in a very bad storm
( this may be my closest thing to PTSD)
- launching my kite off of Old Federal as a novice and ending up with the kite in the water. Then in the process of "self rescue", getting a line wrapped around my leg. This was very scary. The kite very quickly powered up and dragged me under water backwards. To make a long story short:
- yes, my life flashed before my eyes
- luckily the kite depowered quickly
- I wear an impact vest for some flotation now
- I am very careful with the lines.
- I carry a small hook-knive, but depending on the situation this could be hard to use.

Thoughts:
- Use the buddy system
- with many things, think one step ahead and don't get into certain situations
- google common dangers, know your limits
- if kiting, get lessons, know your limits
- listen to the big dogs
- don't backup your car without looking first - not really related - but I know of a tragedy that happend with someone who did not do this.
- know your safety systems, practice them
- know the wind ( off/on shore etc ) - have an exit plan
- if you don't know if you know what the wind is doing, then you don't know
- wear an impact vest, wear a helmet ( I don't always - guilty)
- have fun Smile

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Re: What on the water experience still gives you PTSD?

There's more risk of getting caught in the footstraps and twisting an ankle when foiling. The fist time I foiled using a rental board with footstraps, I nearly twisted an ankle. If you're not planning on radical maneuvers, here is a solution - a half strap that won't trap your feet if you take a spill.

Barrett

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